fi'zi:k wins in Portugal and Spain

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, aboard his fi’zi:k Arione saddle and wearing his fi’zi:k R1B Uomo shoes, yesterday won Volta ao Algarve for the second successive year. The 29-year-old Welshman has made clear his GC ambitions after a standout ride at last year’s Tour de France. Over five stages, he certainly proved his all-round credentials, taking his first victory of the 2016 season.

‘It’s always nice to be on the podium and get a win,’ Thomas said after the race. ‘I don’t get to do it very often so I’ll certainly enjoy it.’

Thomas showed impressive consistency across the five stages, his best single result of the race coming on stage two when he finished second to Luis Leon Sanchez. He also finished a fine third the following day in the 18km time trial.

Going into Sunday’s final 169km stage from Almodovar to Malhao, Thomas lay in second, just 3 seconds behind Tony Martin. But the mountainous day, including the ascent to Alto do Malhao, played into Thomas’ hands, as he finished 28 seconds behind stage winner Alberto Contador with FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot (fi’zi:k Arione) third on the day to help him to fourth overall. Movistar’s Jon Izagirre (fi’zi:k Aliante) finished a further 10 seconds back to claim a superb second on GC. Martin slipped over 18 minutes back.

There was further fi’zi:k success over in Spain at the Vuelta Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol as Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde (Antares 00) snatched victory from BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen (fi’zi:k Aliante VSX).

Valverde was 22 seconds behind van Garderen going into yesterday’s fifth and final stage. But thanks to a memorable solo attack on the final climb to the summit finish, where Valverde chiseled out a 48-second lead over the American, the Spaniard took home the title for the fourth time. ‘I knew I was going well but not as well as this,’ said the world’s number-one ranked rider after the race.